Article

The European Union in Global Environmental Governance: Leadership in the Making?

Citation

Vogler J & Stephan H (2007) The European Union in Global Environmental Governance: Leadership in the Making?. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 7 (4), pp. 389-413. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10784-007-9051-5

Abstract
For well over a decade, the European Union (EU) has proclaimed its leadership role in global environmental governance (GEG). In this article, we examine both the nature of its leadership and the underlying conditions for ‘actorness’ upon which leadership must depend. The EU’s record in the global conferences as well as its influence on the reform of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are also investigated. We argue that the EU has frequently sought to shape international environmental negotiations and promote sustainable development as an organising principle of global governance. Despite its inadequate status at the UN and internal problems, it has had a significant effect on the global agenda. However, due to persistent diplomatic opposition from other coalitions, its real, directly visible influence has been more modest. For genuine directional leadership, which goes beyond the defence of self-interest, the Union will have to make internal policy coherence a greater priority. Moreover, apart from relying solely on its weighty presence in the international system or its potential capabilities, the EU needs to achieve a high level of credibility in order to enhance its powers of persuasion.

Keywords
Actorness; Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD); Europe as a global actor; Global environmental governance (GEG); Leadership; UNEP; United Nations reform

Journal
International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics: Volume 7, Issue 4

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2007
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/13012
PublisherSpringer
ISSN1567-9764